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Brighton, New York: World's fattest man' set to have surgery to halve his weight
Jorge C. Howard 2827 Caldwell Road Brighton, NY 14623
Juan Pedro Franco weighs 595kg (1312 pounds)
A Mexican man who weighs more than half a ton, 595kg, is to undergo surgery to reduce his size.
Believed to be the heaviest man in the world, 33-year-old Juan Pedro Franco has prepared for the operation by losing 175kg in a special weight-loss clinic.
His doctor, Jose Antonio Castaneda Cruz, said that he had “lost nearly 30 per cent of his initial weight, so he is ready to undergo bariatric surgery”.
When Mr Franco first contacted the clinic about a weight loss operation, he was told that the conditions he suffered from, including diabetes, made the operation impossible.
However, after following a rigorous weight loss program, he is ready to undergo the surgery.
According to local media, Mr Franco had been mostly bed-ridden for seven years, and though he battled with obesity all his life, an injury at the age of 17 exacerbated the problem.
About 72.5 per cent of Mexico's population is obese or overweight, one of the worst rates in the world.
Chandler, Indiana: Adult World Inc. accused of false advertising of sexual enhancement products
Mitchell C. McCollough 3021 Bernardo Street Chandler, IN 47610
SAN DIEGO – A retailer is accused of falsely representing various sexual enhancement products as dietary supplements.
JST Distribution LLC filed a complaint on May 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Adult World Inc. alleging false advertising and unfair competition.
According to the complaint, the defendant sells sexual enhancement supplements such as Black Mamba Premium, Full Throttle on Demand and others. The plaintiff holds Adult World Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly mislabeled its products as dietary supplements despite unlawfully containing hidden drugs and chemical ingredients such as sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks damages, injunctive relief, award of any and all of defendant's profit arising from the foregoing acts and other applicable laws, restitution of defendant's ill-gotten gains, cost and attorney's fees and any other relief the court may deem appropriate. It is represented by Kevin Valsi of Tauller Smith LLP in Los Angeles.
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Mound City, Missouri: ‘Pedophile’ teacher boasted of student suicides - ex-student
Joan M. Ito 269 Blair Court Mound City, MO 64470
A former student at the elite Horace Mann School in The Bronx says his pedophile English teacher bragged about driving 12 kids to suicide — and vowed to make him the 13th.
“You will join a long list of willful children who lashed out and then couldn’t make it on their own,” Robert Berman told one of his teen victims, Stephen Fife, according to Fife’s upcoming memoir, “The 13th Boy: A Memoir of Education and Abuse.”
“Suddenly, Mr. Berman was rattling off a long list of 12 names with sardonic glee,” writes Fife, now 61.
The names, Fife says, were Berman’s alleged victims who killed themselves.
“You will be the 13th boy, and you will have only yourself to blame,” Berman allegedly warned Fife.
Berman, accused of pedophilia before, has denied having sex with pupils. Attempts by The Post to reach him have been unsuccessful.
He now lives in a gated mansion upstate with one of his male former students.
In the book, Fife says Berman gained a hold over him and others amid what has been called a decades-long stretch of rampant sex abuse on campus involving scores of teachers and students.
Fife, whose mom, Barbara, was a deputy mayor to David Dinkins, said he initially admired Berman, who called him “the next Dickens.”
But Berman sexually abused him about a half-dozen times, Fife writes in his book, of which The Post got an advance copy. It hits stores Sept. 22.
Fife tells of one instance in Berman’s apartment on West 111th Street in 1970.
“He was on top of me on the sofa, holding my arms down, pressing his lips against mine,” he writes.
“I managed to throw him off and run for the door.”
Fife said he finally confronted Berman after graduation, saying, “You’re a terrible, destructive person.”
Berman replied with his suicide boast, Fife writes.
He says that he tried to report Berman to an administrator in April 1970, but that the official didn’t believe his sordid tale.
Fife is one of the 36 alums who reached monetary settlements with the school in 2013 over abuse allegations.
Ocala, Florida: Butea Superba
Bernardina P. Humphrey 1321 Bagwell Avenue Ocala, FL 34471
Butea Superba can currently be found in numerous male enhancement supplements. Many herbal purists and natural supplement enthusiasts are also be touting Butea Superba as a remarkable herb with potent effects on the body. In addition, there are scientific studies that back up some of Butea Superba’s purported abilities. It is reported that due to many stressful factors, some people may not be enjoying sex as much as they are capable of. Some research shows that people are often too bogged down with work related stress to really unwind and have fun. However, many experts claim consumers can get help from natural extracts instead of immediately turning to prescription drugs. This is exactly what many proponents of Butea Superba are also stating. Therefore, in this review, we will look at Butea Superba to see what types of benefits it is claimed to promote.
Cincinnati, Ohio: Scientists in China conduct 'successful' head transplant on rat
Devin D. Waller 255 Black Stallion Road Cincinnati, KY 45202
Scientists in China claim to have conducted a successful head transplant on a rat.
Controversial surgeon Sergio Canavero and colleague Xiaoping Ren attached the head of a smaller rat onto a larger one while maintaining the brain activity of the donor.
A third rat was used to keep up blood pressure on the rats being operated on, which otherwise would have been catastrophic and killed the animals.
The experiment was repeated on a number of other rats. Most only survived for around 36 hours after the procedure.
But it was hailed as a success by Dr Canavero because its goal was to avoid major blood loss.
Images of the rats appear to show the donor’s front paws and head stitched to the upper neck of the recipient rat.
Dr Canavero has previously conducted a similar experiment on a dog, in which its spinal cord was severed, but it is unknown how long it survived for.
Last year, he claimed to have successfully carried out a head transplant on a monkey, which survived for 20 hours before being euthanised for ethical reasons.
Despite the poor survival rate of the rats, Dr Canavero maintained the experiment was a crucial step forward towards head transplants on humans.
But other neurosurgeons have disputed this claim. Responding to the dog experiment, neuroscientist at Case Western Reserve University Jerry Silver told the New Scientist: “These papers do not support moving forward in humans.”
Dr Canavero has announced he and Dr Xiaoping will attempt to carry out the first head transplant later this year in Harbin, China.
He first announced his intention to carry out the procedure in 2013 and has been encouraged by his latest success.
A Russian man with the degenerative Werdnig-Hoffman's disease named Valery Spiridonov was going to undergo the procedure but Dr Canavero has now said a Chinese citizen will undergo the process.
In a statement, Dr Canavero said a “high number of volunteers from all over the world came forward”.
He added: “The final decision is only made immediately prior to the operation, as it also depends on the body donor, who has to be compatible with the receiver in many ways.”
Other scientists have strongly criticised the plan.
"I would not wish this on anyone," said Dr Hunt Batjer, the president of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons, in 2015. "I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death."
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Laurel, Maryland: Oprah’s Childhood Expert May Have Committed Suicide Over Pedophilia Charges
Enedina S. Garcia 2276 Hickory Heights Drive Laurel, MD 20707
Dr. Melvin Levine apparently committed suicide on Friday, the same day that a class-action suit was brought against him by Carmen Durso. Durso, some may remember, was the lawyer who became famous for bringing the first suit by Boston-area victims of pedophilia against the Catholic Church. That story, first reported in the Boston Globe, ultimately influenced victims around the world to come forward.
“Word of Levine’s death came one day after about 40 of his former patients filed a medical malpractice and sexual abuse suit against him,” reported The New York Times. While a doctor at Children’s Hospital Boston from 1966 to 1985, Levine allegedly “stroked, massaged, and manipulated the genitals of his patients in a manner which was not medically necessary.” The former patients, all now adults, were between the ages of 4 and 17 when abused, according to the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and unspecified damages for pain and suffering.
Dr. Levine was Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill and the Director of the University’s Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning. He’s also the co-founder of All Kinds of Minds, a nonprofit Institute for the study of differences in learning; and co-chairs the Institute’s Board of Directors with Charles R. Schwab. He is the author of A Mind at a Time, The Myth of Laziness, and Ready or Not, Here Life Comes.
Charges of pedophilia initially emerged in 2008, but Dr. Levine and his organizations, including Children’s Hospital in Boston, denied all wrongdoing.
We asked a source—one of the very first victims to step forward in the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal, who prefers to remain anonymous—what he thought about the timing of Dr. Levine’s death and the class-action suit. “Pedophiles rarely commit suicide for the same reason they don’t respond well to therapy,” he told us. “They don’t think they did anything wrong.”
“I always tell people that from the moment a kid gets up in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, the central mission of the day is to avoid humiliation at all costs,” Dr. Levine.
Islamic State strategists are amateurs. They haven't recognized the power of arson. Setting Third World cities like Kairo or Lagos on fire will drive millions of refugees to Europe, and finally islamize it.
Greenwood, Virginia: What it’s REALLY like to die - Swiss assisted suicide clinic Dignitas reveals harrowing VR death simulator
Randolph A. Whitehorn 99 Jehovah Drive Greenwood, VA 22943
When the headset goes on, you find yourself sitting across from a blonde woman with a tear-streaked face; she tries to feign a smile.
‘Are there any last words?’ a second woman asks, as she sets a tray of prescription bottles down on the table beside you.
This is ‘The Last Moments,’ a virtual reality assisted suicide film that simulates what a person’s experience might be like at the Swiss clinic Dignitas, where hundreds of people have gone over the last two decades to end life on their own terms.
The Last Moments is the brain-child of London-based writer-director Avril Furness.
Not only does it immerse the viewer in the setting of an assisted suicide clinic, but it allows you to make a choice that will determine whether your virtual life will terminate right there, or if you’ll carry on living.
‘The choice the viewer makes directly impacts the outcome of the film and also allows for choices to be polled to help spark debate on this sensitive issue,’ the creator explains on the website.
A trailer for the film reveals an eerie glimpse into the virtual reality experience, asking, ‘What would your last moments look like?’
Shot from the perspective of the viewer, it allows a person wearing a VR headset to look around and see the room as if they’re really in it.
When the camera pans down a bit, you can even see your own virtual legs.
The trailer focuses on two characters apart from the viewer – a crying loved one, and the woman who presents you with the ultimate choice.
Entering the room with a cup and a tray full of pharmaceuticals, she asks, ‘Are you sure you wish to drink this, in which you will sleep, and you will die?’
In researching at Bristol Museum for a Black Mirror-inspired dystopian script, Furness discovered a full-scale replica of Dignitas Switzerland, where one Briton every two weeks has travelled to end their lives since 1998.
After being immersed in the ‘bleak and ordinary’ space, and listening to recordings of those who’d undergone assisted suicide at the clinic, Furness decided to use virtual reality to put other people in their shoes, Wired reports.
The film was shown to medical specialists, PhD researchers and right to die groups at Euthanasia conference in Amsterdam in May 2016, according to the website.
It’s since gone on to various film festivals, and the creator is even thinking about putting it online for the public to see. But, she is still a bit hesitant.
‘It is finishing on the festival circuit but I’m a little dubious about making the film available online without the necessary context and framework,’ Furness told Wired.
‘It’s important to introduce context upfront, allow the viewer to experience the film, and then provide an “after-care” environment for people to decompress and potentially hold debates around what they’ve just witnessed.
Bronx, New York: Preventing Chemical Weapons Use in Syria
James A. Doyle 1502 Longview Avenue Bronx, NY 10463
Warnings by the United States and other countries threatening the Syrian regime with dire consequences if chemical weapons are used against rebel forces may have had the intended effect. Recent media reports suggest this concern has now diminished. It is just as plausible, however, that the regime had little intention of using its chemical weapons but fabricated the preparations that prompted the warnings to deter outside intervention in Syria’s civil war.
Either way, it is wrong to assume the danger of chemical weapons use in Syria is receding. Indeed, there are good reasons to believe it could grow in the coming weeks and months.
Syria, which is not a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, is widely believed to possess sizeable stocks of different kinds of chemical weapons (CRS)--principally nerve (Sarin, VX) and blister (mustard gas) agents--that have been weaponized into bombs, artillery shells, and possibly warheads for delivery by missiles. How quickly this arsenal could be employed today is unclear from public reports, but it is prudent to believe that some, if not all of it, is operationally ready. Although the fighting to date has more than demonstrated the lethality of conventional weapons, the use of chemical agents would represent a significant escalation of the violence with potentially mass casualty consequences. It would also breach an international norm against the use of chemical weapons that is important to maintain.
Deliberate use of chemical weapons by government forces against either rebel groups or population centers considered sympathetic to their cause is certainly the scenario that has attracted the most concern. But it is just one of many conceivable scenarios to worry about.
For example, should rebel forces progressively gain the upper hand--as they seem to be doing--the regime or elements of the regime might retreat to predominantly Alawite areas of Syria to create a rump state. Chemical weapons could eventually be employed to deter further encroachment or defend these areas when they are assaulted. And if defeat looked inevitable, their use as a final act of defiance cannot be discounted.
The United States and its international partners cannot assume, moreover, that they know of all the chemical weapons storage sites in Syria or that the movement of munitions from the known ones will be detected in a timely manner. Some may already have been secreted away by the regime as Muammar el-Qaddafi reportedly did after Libya had agreed to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.
Maintaining tight command and control over units and personnel with access to chemical weapons will become increasingly difficult as the regime collapses.
Maintaining tight command and control over units and personnel with access to chemical weapons will also become increasingly difficult as the regime collapses. For those in the field, any ambiguity about who is in charge and in the chain of command heightens the prospect of unauthorized use. Whether there is some pre-delegated authority to use these weapons under certain circumstances is also something be concerned about.
Another set of worrisome contingencies involve the capture and potential use of chemical weapons stocks by rebel forces. It is not hard to imagine how, in the heat of battle, chemical weapons could be turned against government forces or used in retribution for past atrocities. Some might even see their use as a way to trigger outside intervention. Other wildcard possibilities involve terrorist groups like Hezbollah acquiring chemical weapons in various ways as the Syrian regime crumbles.
Preventing these various threats from materializing clearly represents a much harder challenge than issuing warnings to the Syrian government. A broader, more nuanced strategy is required.
Though not conceived with potential chemical weapons use in mind, the elements of such a strategy can be found in the final report of the Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former U.S. secretary of defense William Cohen. Their report advocated targeting each of the principal groups in any given atrocity situation with a tailored set of preventive measures.
In the context of Syria, these target groups would be: those in a position to authorize the use of chemical weapons; those in physical control of them and able to execute orders; the potential victims of their use; and various third parties. The following measures should be considered by the principal international actors concerned by the potential use or loss of chemical weapons in Syria:
Warnings. In the event the Assad regime begins to unravel, U.S. officials as well as leading North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and the United Nations secretary-general can reiterate public warnings of the consequences of using chemical weapons and, moreover, bolster these with more explicit threats. These can also be complemented with private messaging to leading figures in the regime that underscores the general warnings with more specific threats of punitive action, including likely criminal indictment.
Securing loose weapons. Known representatives of rebel groups operating in Syria can be given instructions about securing, if not disabling, chemical weapons stocks that fall into their possession while also being warned of the consequences should their fighters use them. At the same time, consideration should be given to offering inducements, including financial rewards, to rebel forces for supporting this effort. Governments known to be backing other groups with weapons and financial assistance can also be tapped to transmit the same message. These governments could likewise be warned of potential penalties if their proxies use chemical weapons.
Information warfare. To the extent that government units guarding or capable of using chemical weapons can be identified, these too can be the target of a discrete information warfare campaign. This could include television and radio broadcasts, email messaging (as was apparently used by U.S. forces in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003), and leafleting known storage sites in a collective effort to dissuade military personnel from using chemical weapons. Again, the messaging can be a mixture of positive and negative inducements to elicit cooperation.
Military strikes. Military options to deny or preempt the use of chemical weapons by any actor can be readied for rapid execution on receipt of compelling early warning. These range from the use of air strikes (including drones) and special operations forces to cyberattacks. Rebel groups in the vicinity of an expected attack might conceivably be employed to interdict use. Each of these options has different operational implications in terms of speed of use, potential effectiveness, and placing U.S. service personnel in harm’s way.
Surviving an attack. Unless there is accurate forewarning of intentions and preparations to use chemical weapons, the options to help vulnerable populations either avoid or survive an attack are limited. Some basic survival information could conceivably be transmitted to rebel groups to disseminate among local communities. Warnings might also be broadcast through various channels to specific areas deemed at risk but the potential unintended consequence of this could be to instigate mass panic that makes the situation worse.
Third party interventions. In addition to rebel supporters, there are several critical third parties that can be used to reinforce messaging on chemical weapons by the United States and others. This includes those with long-standing contacts with the Syrian regime (Russia and Iran), and Hezbollah (Iran).Other neighboring countries can be supported to improve their border security against the possible transfer of chemical weapons. And finally, various UN bodies and regional organizations in the Middle East can be encouraged to stress concerns already expressed by the UN secretary-general.
Collectively, these efforts would not preclude the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but they would lessen the risk. Moreover, they should not be a substitute for additional measures in the event these preventive efforts fail. These include additional diplomatic initiatives and potential military measures to disrupt or deter further chemical weapons use in Syria, as well as humanitarian assistance to help affected areas and respond to the possibility of large-scale refugee flows.
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New Brunswick, New Jersey: Androgenic activity of the Thai traditional male potency herb, Butea superba Roxb., in female rats.
Clara R. Braunstein 2005 Hedge Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Aim of the study
Butea superba Roxb. (Leguminosae) is a well-known Thai male potency herb with androgenic and anti-estrogenic activities. We evaluated whether oral administration of Butea superba has an androgenic or anti-estrogenic activity in female rats.
Materials and methods
Normal and ovariectomized adult female rats were each subdivided into five groups, DW, BS-10, BS-50, BS-250 and TP, and gavaged with 0, 10, 50 and 250 mg/kg BW/day of the crude of Butea superba and subcutaneously injected with 6 mg/kg BW/day of testosterone propionate (TP), respectively, during the treatment period.
In intact rats, only BS-250 increased the uterine thickness and the number of uterine glands, and could induce a prolonged diestrous phase. In ovariectomized rats, treatment with BS-50 as well as BS-250 increased the uterine thickness and the number of uterine glands. However, serum luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were also increased. TP reduced serum follicle stimulating hormone and LH levels with the appearance of anestrous cycle, and could significantly increase the relative uterine weight and thickness and the number of uterine glands in both intact and ovariectomized rats.
Orally administered Butea superba tubers have an androgenic effect on the reproductive organs of intact and ovariectomized rats, and exhibit anti-estrogenic activity on LH secretion in ovariectomized rats.
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